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New York's independent commission cannot come to agreement on redistricting

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The Independent Redistricting Commission failed to choose one of its two new draft maps Monday, sending the decision to the state legislature.

The commission was tasked with redrawing state Senate, Congressional and Assembly lines following the 2020 Census.

The commission is made up of five Democrats and five Republicans, with each group presenting its own drafts for consideration. The 10 members could not come to a consensus on final maps for Senate, Congress or Assembly lines.

Based on Census data, New York is losing a seat in Congress because of the slight decrease in the state’s overall population, which will lead to changes for Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, R-22.

The two maps for Congress, named Plan A and Plan B, were fairly similar outside of New York City, however, one version has Tenney remaining in the 22nd district, but in the other, she would be part of a new 19th district. Because the new 22nd district would also include Syracuse, Tenney would have to primary Congressman John Katko in one scenario; in the other, she would likely be the incumbent Republican candidate.

Tenney released a statement Monday following the vote, chastising the commission for failing in their duty to draft a bipartisan map. She said, in part, “The maps presented by the Democrat members of the Independent Redistricting Commission ignore the testimony of thousands of New Yorkers who urged the commission to keep counties intact, preserve communities of interest and provide fair representation for our state."

The way the lines are redrawn in both plans, parts of Oneida County would be included in the 19th, 21st and 22nd districts, as opposed to just the 22nd. Parts of Herkimer County would be included in districts 21 and 19, just as before, and Otsego County would stay entirely in the 19th district.

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation in November of 2021 that left the redistricting decisions up to the state legislature in the event the commission could not come to an agreement.

To view the most recent map drafts, click here.

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